Thackeray primarily worked for Fraser's Magazine, a sharp-witted and sharp-tongued conservative publication, for which he produced art criticism, short fictional sketches, and two longer fictional works, Catherine and The Luck of Barry Lyndon. From 1837 to 1840 he also reviewed books for The Times. He was also a regular contributor to The Morning Chronicle and The Foreign Quarterly Review. Later, through his connection to the illustrator John Leech, he began writing for the newly created Punch magazine , where he published The Snob Papers, later collected as The Book of Snobs. This work popularised the modern meaning of the word "snob."
Tragedy struck in his personal life as his wife succumbed to depression after the birth of their third child in 1840. Finding he could get no work done at home, he spent more and more time away, until September of that year, when he realised how grave her condition was. Struck by guilt, he took his ailing wife to Ireland. During the crossing she threw herself from a water-closet into the sea, but she was pulled from the waters. They fled back home after a four-week domestic battle with her mother. From November 1840 to February 1842 she was in and out of professional care, her condition waxing and waning. She eventually deteriorated into a permanent state of detachment from reality, unaware of the world around her. Thackeray desperately sought cures for her, but nothing worked, and she ended up confined in a home near Paris. She remained there until 1893, outliving her husband by thirty years.
The coincidence between the story of Jane Eyre and Thackeray real life.
The coincidence between the story of Jane Eyre and Thackeray real life caused Bronte a great deal of pain. She dedicated the second edition of ‘Jane Eyre’ to Thackeray in a preface of warm eulogy. It was already rumored that the portrait of Rochester’s wife in Jane Eyre was drawn from Thackeray’s mad wife. Indeed she was totally ignorant of Thackeray’s domestic troubles but since she published the first edition of Jane Eyre under the pen name of Currer Bell, every one thinks that the novel has been written by Thackeray’s own governess. thinkingthediscovery
After his wife's illness, Thackeray became a de facto widower, never establishing another permanent relationship. He did pursue other women, in particular Mrs. Jane Brookfield, (Thackeray incorporated some of her characteristics in to two of his characters: Amelia Sedley in Vanity Fair (1848), and Laura Bell in Pendennis (1850). and Sally Baxter. In 1851 Mr Brookfield barred Thackeray from further visits to or correspondence with Jane. Baxter, an American twenty years his junior whom he met during a lecture tour in New York City in 1852, married another man in 1855.
In the early 1840s, Thackeray had some success with two travel books, The Paris Sketch Book and The Irish Sketch Book. He achieved more recognition with his Snob Papers (serialised 1846/7, published in book form in 1848), but the work that really established his fame was the novel Vanity Fair, which first appeared in serialised installments beginning in January 1847. Even before Vanity Fair completed its serial run, Thackeray had become a celebrity, sought after by the very lords and ladies whom he satirised; they hailed him as the equal of Dickens.
He remained "at the top of the tree," as he put it, for the remaining decade and a half of his life, producing several large novels, notably Pendennis, The Newcomes, and The History of Henry Esmond, despite various illnesses, including a near fatal one that struck him in 1849 in the middle of writing Pendennis. He twice visited the United States on lecture tours during this period.
Thackeray also gave lectures in London on the English humorists of the eighteenth century, and on the first four Hanoverian monarchs. The latter series was published in book form as The Four Georges. In Oxford, he stood unsuccessfully as an independent for Parliament. He was narrowly beaten by Cardwell (1070 votes, against 1005 for Thackeray).
In 1860 Thackeray became editor of the newly established Cornhill Magazine, but was never comfortable as an editor, preferring to contribute to the magazine as a columnist, producing his Roundabout Papers for it.
His health worsened during the 1850s and he was plagued by a recurring stricture of the urethra that laid him up for days at a time. He also felt he had lost much of his creative impetus. He worsened matters by over-eating and drinking and avoiding exercise, though he enjoyed horseback riding (he kept a horse). He could not break his addiction to spicy peppers, further ruining his digestion. On 23 December 1863, after returning from dining out and before dressing for bed, Thackeray suffered a stroke and was found dead in his bed in the morning. His death at the age of fifty-two was entirely unexpected, and shocked his family, friends, and reading public. An estimated 7000 people attended his funeral at Kensington Gardens. He was buried on 29 December at Kensal Green Cemetery, and a memorial bust sculpted by Marochetti can be found in Westminster Abbey. /wiki/William_Makepeace_Thackeray
Thackeray in the USA.
Those who did not know his books were charmed in the lecturer by what is charming in the author—the unaffected humanity, the tenderness, the sweetness, the genial play of fancy, and the sad touch of truth, with that glancing stroke of satire which, lightning-like, illumines while it withers. The lectures were even more delightful than the books, because the tone of the voice and the appearance of the man, the general personal magnetism, explained and alleviated so much that would otherwise have seemed doubtful or unfair. Read more: bartleby
books/ Anne Thackeray